Frequently Asked Questions
Can I plead guilty by post?
For the majority of Magistrates Court cases, the Defendant will be given the opportunity to plead guilty by post which also allows you the opportunity to enter a written plea of mitigation.
This is clearly an attractive option if you do not want to attend the hearing and of course, that alone can result in a financial saving by avoiding a day off work.
If you are offered the opportunity to plead guilty by post, then we would recommend that you use this option.
However, we do not recommend that you simply tick the guilty box and send the Summons back with your licence.
Use the mitigation option in order to try to convince the Court that any punishment imposed should take into account your circumstances.
That said, if there is any risk of disqualification, the Court will probably reject the letter and demand a personal attendance.
If you need assistance in preparing a letter of mitigation,
Motor Lawyers can deal with this on your behalf.
If, however, it is clear to us that a letter will not be accepted, we will recommend a Court hearing service to you as this will be your cheaper option if a personal attendance is inevitable.
If you face disqualification by way of an instant ban, for example because the speed alleged is substantially in excess of the limit, the Court is unlikely to deal with the matter in your absence.
Although you may have been provided with standard documentation allowing you to enter a written plea, if there is no Statement of Facts accompanying the Summons, this is a clear indication that an attendance is required.
When am I likely to receive an immediate disqualification for speeding?
When travelling far in excess of the speed limit, there is risk of an immediate an, based on the speed recorded.
Although the Courts around the country have their own local practices, by and large if you are more than 40% over the speed limit, you are at risk of an immediate disqualification, although there seems to be more tolerance when the speed limit broken is 30/40 mph.
||In excess of 51 mph
||In excess of 66 mph
||In excess of 75 mph
||In excess of 85 mph
||In excess of 100 mph
If the punishment for the offence could result in you losing your licence under the "totting up" procedure, again the probability is that you will need to attend the hearing personally.
Many Defendants are confused when the Summons offers the option of a written plea and this is then rejected by the Court.
Normally, the reason for this is that when the Summons is issued, the Court is unaware of the number of points on the Defendant's licence so has no reason to assume that there is any risk of disqualification which would result in the plea by post option being withdrawn.
It is only when considering punishment that the Magistrates realise that there is a "totting up" risk whereupon they will normally adjourn the case in order to allow the Defendant to raise issues as to why a disqualification should not be imposed.